“In the wake of the civil war, both sides fell to dust. Out of the lawless chaos, a new power arose and began to spread across the land, leading it into Damnation”
Damnation takes place after the events of the ‘Civil War’ You’ll assume the command of Hamilton Rourke a war criminal for leading his men in to complete and utter annihilation. Now he sides with the Rebels, fighting to destroy the new world order, the new America and the corporation known as PSI (Prescott Standard Industries) who has replaced Electricity with Steam and proves to be a very powerful dictator indeed.
Right from the outset Damnation throws you into a world full of PSI injected crazies. Once injected with PSI Serum enemies begin to gain strength and abnormal side effects. This is your first chance to seal up the game and return it, if you’ve braved it and continued then this will be where you first get your taste of action, fighting the worst AI ever seen in a game. Granted Damnation did start off as an Unreal Tournament 2004 mod but any attempt to bring it up to its £29.99 price tag has unfortunately been lost in translation. Enemies stand still when shooting them, and when they do finally move, they hover across the map like Jesus walking on water. Your teammates aren’t much better who constantly feel the urge to run through solid objects and drop through the map to catch up with you.
Luckily or Unluckily (In this case) you won’t be alone, you’ll be joined by two Artificial Intelligence characters for the most part. First of all a tribeswomen who goes by the name of Yakecan who witnessed firsthand PSI destroy her home, and now seeks revenge. You’ll also be joined by an annoying Mexican –Ramon Sepherius Zagato who constantly feels the need to question your orders and throw a strop at every point possible. While it is nice to have company in a war game I wish the developers had left them out, they neither help your quest across the vast landscapes, are incapable of infiltrating a camp quietly and deliver some of the worst voice acting I’ve ever seen, seriously there’s more life in a cemetery.
While this won’t cut out the stupidly annoying and frame rate ridden scenes, you can easily take Damnation online with two (2) player cooperative mode. While the concept is cool, the execution is poor with laggy servers and a lack of actual people playing; it’s a lot of a letdown.
You’ll also notice that Damnation has a Gears of Waresque feeling to it, you’ll be able to do everything Felix does just without the style, diving forward, back, left and right by pressing Left Trigger and moving the directional stick. You’ll also be able to climb almost everything you see in Damnation, jumping and bouncing off walls to grab ledges, climbing buildings, and hanging from pipes. Also, when a teammate bites the curb you’ll be able to revive them by running up to them and pressing RB or using your magical powers given to you by Yakecan’s Seer Brother by pressing LB, looking in the direction of the fallen comrade and pressing RB. I like to think of Damnation like Gears of War but with acrobatics.
The weapons in Damnation are not varied at all; you’ll be able to carry up to two assault rifles and a mandatory pistol. The lack of weapons is truly a shame, I would have thought Blue Omega Entertainment would have thought of some cool alternative 19th century weapons that spawned from the Civil War, but they didn’t which just adds to the already impressive list of flaws that this game already holds.
Damnation should also pay for its sins, for not giving players a map. To many times I’ve found myself running around like a complete nutter trying to find a way out, only to find my teammates standing around giving me verbal abuse which isn’t helpful in a stressful situation like getting lost.
Damnation does try to give you the player a break from all that jumping and dodging by giving you a motorbike, your AI or Human counterpart can either drive or shoot from the back of the bike, but this can lead to frustration as frame-rate issues mean sometimes you’ll fall off a cliff and have to restart from the last saved checkpoint (I shiver just saying that). The bike also defies the laws of gravity, and lacks any type of control. This all adds up to a very glitchy and uninteresting experience. Good try though Blue Omega.
The visual presentation in Damnation is at best high-end XBOX standard. From horrific boxy characters, terrible lip syncs and uninspiring landscapes Damnation leaves the player wondering what happened to all the promise Damnation had when we first saw it a little while back at E3.
Things don’t get any better in the sound department. The weapons seem to ‘Hiss’ when fired, and don’t feel like they have any ‘umph’ behind them. When climbing ledges (which you do a lot) the game finds a need to make a crazy shuffling noise even when standing still, it’s a real shame as the game doesn’t make you believe that you’re in a hell hole but rather having a picnic in the park. Shame, this could have been a good game.
Aside from the online co-op Damnation also features online multiplayer from Capture the Flag to Deathmatch although no one is playing any of these game-modes either. When I did manage to get in to a server the game lagged and then proceeded to crash.
Achievements are stackable so if you complete the game on Hardcore you’ll unlock Casual which makes it quiet easy to unlock all the single-player achievements while as above, difficulty finding players online will most likely result in little to no online achievements.
Blue Omega Entertainment set out with a clear goal, to change the First Person Genre with a mix of FPS and Acrobatics; unfortunately Damnation falls short on both counts and leaves gamers wanting their money back. Damnation is definitely not worth the £29.99 price tag, but may be worth a Blockbuster Rent.